Having a CO2 Laser Treatment for Dark Spots? Just Add Topicals.

Are you both­ered by dark spots and are con­sid­er­ing hav­ing a CO2 laser treat­ment to cor­rect your skin? Make sure you add a top­i­cal reg­i­men to your list! By com­bin­ing CO2 laser treat­ments with top­i­cal ther­a­py you can achieve the most effec­tive results for mod­er­ate to severe skin pig­men­ta­tion. Plus you get the added ben­e­fit of improved over­all col­la­gen formation!

Dark Spots, Be Gone!

Dark spots, known as hyper­pig­men­ta­tion, are very com­mon when your skin ages due to the over­stim­u­la­tion of the pig­ment pro­duc­ing cells (melanocytes) in your body. These cells can be trig­gered to deposit pig­ment by sun dam­age, inflam­ma­tion, injury to the skin and var­i­ous dis­eases. The accu­mu­la­tion of these dark­ened areas over time can result in an over­all uneven skin tone that may be dif­fi­cult to treat with over-the-counter top­i­cal skin care products.

Where to Start

One month pri­or to your CO2 laser treat­ment, start pre-treat­ing your skin with hydro­quinone and Retin‑A top­i­cal ther­a­py. This will help pre­vent tran­sient hyper­pig­men­ta­tion that may occur post-laser therapy.

  • Hydro­quinone is a med­ical grade top­i­cal that is used in the treat­ment of skin pig­men­ta­tion. It has a light­en­ing effect and when used effec­tive­ly can reduce the appear­ance of dark spots.
  • A top­i­cal retinoid (such as Retin‑A) is also a main­stay of ther­a­py if you are look­ing to treat pho­to-aging. Retinoid works to increase col­la­gen and improve pig­ment irregularities.

CO2 Laser Ther­a­py & Pigmentation

CO2 laser ther­a­py treats pig­men­ta­tion by destroy­ing the out­er lay­ers of the skin and stim­u­lat­ing re-epithe­lial­iza­tion and cell turnover in the deep­er lay­ers. This removes pig­men­ta­tion and restruc­tures col­la­gen to both improve dark spots and reduce wrin­kles. Most peo­ple require one or two CO2 laser treat­ments for best results. The recov­ery time from a CO2 laser treat­ment is gen­er­al­ly about 1 week for total skin resur­fac­ing. Please know that red­ness may per­sist for sev­er­al weeks after the treat­ment depend­ing on the intensity.

Post Laser Treat­ment Care

Imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the laser treat­ment, a post-laser skin care reg­i­men should be imple­ment­ed to calm and pro­tect your skin dur­ing re-epithe­lial­iza­tion. The com­bi­na­tion of hydro­quinone and Retin‑A ther­a­py should be reestab­lished 4 – 6 weeks fol­low­ing your CO2 laser treat­ment. There is still a pos­si­bil­i­ty of devel­op­ing new dark spots over time even after laser treat­ment. That is why it is most ben­e­fi­cial to con­tin­ue top­i­cal ther­a­py in order to pre­vent the re-emer­gence of hyper­pig­men­ta­tion and pro­tect the post-laser results.

Com­bin­ing top­i­cal ther­a­py with CO2 laser treat­ment is an excel­lent way to get the best out­come with the longest results from your laser treatment. 

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